Yesterday, on March 8, I participated in a Twitter event known as #PitMad, which is short for “Pitch Madness.” The event allows authors with completed manuscripts to pitch them on Twitter for any agency or publisher that may be interested in publishing a new work in a specific genre.
I followed the guidelines for #PitMad as closely as possible. An author should only tweet three pitches for a single manuscript, not include any imagery, and space the tweets about four-hours apart during the twelve-hour event. I agonized over the pitches I wrote, and I even rewrote the third one a few times before I finally tweeted it. Each tweeted pitch did receive a lot of impressions, and some interaction from other authors, but nothing from agencies or publishers. This was only my first time participating, so while I kept my hopes up, I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t get tapped to send more information about my novel.
A freak storm causes an elf and a human to seek refuge in a forbidden forest. There they find an ancient elven artifact that reveals an advanced technological past. #PitMad #A #SF
Centuries of lies become unraveled when an elf and human stumble across the elves’ true past. The ancient technological marvels they find in a forbidden forest change everything. #PitMad #A #SF
On the run from both of their people, an elf and human work together to reveal the surprising truth behind the elves’ past. They were from another world and had crash-landed centuries ago, a fact that had been kept secret by their Elders. #PitMad #A #SF
Now that the event has concluded, I’ve reflected on what I’ve learned. I think the biggest takeaway I had from the entire experience is that I’ve come to realize I’ve been leaving out a crucial detail from the pitch I include in my query letters. This is going to be the first thing I fix before I go back to querying agents.
Which crucial detail am I leaving out? The fact that the elves in my novel were once spacefaring and had crash-landed on the world they now occupy. Which of course brings up the fact that there may be other, technically advanced elves still living on their homeworld. I think this is the hook I’m missing from my current query letter pitch. Once I rewrite it to include that, I’m hoping my novel will appeal to someone. Wish me luck!
2 thoughts on “My #PitMad Experience”
What are the stakes though? You forgot to mention that. If so & so doesn’t happen, THEN WHAT? Any comps that can give us an idea of what kind of book this is? Is it LOTR or is it more PROMETHEUS? What year are we in? Should I be imagining Aragorn & Legolas? Or should I be imagining Harry Potter & Dobby?
Also “Change everything” is a vague statement. What will they change? Will they reveal the truth about their origin? How will this impact their religion/mythology if it goes against that? Is this more STARGATE then, once they discover the machine in the desert and realize Earth has a deep history with aliens?
One of the stakes is stated – uncovering the centuries of lies told by their Elders, which rattles the core of their societies. One of the other stakes I couldn’t make work within the context of the tweets – if they don’t pursue the clues and uncover the truth, several thousand elves sleeping in failing cryopods may die (but that’s not something they know until they find the cryopods).
As for comps – there are two different schools of thought on including those in the pitch. I deliberately chose not to include them, because my comps are rather vague and only loosely inspired my novel (The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, A Golden Dream: Fuzzy Odessy by Ardath Mayhar, and Genesis Quest by Donald Moffitt).
When I state “change everything,” well I literally mean change everything. Their societies, cultures, views of themselves and the world around them. Literally, everything is changed by what they find.